Improve security at home, warns police commissioner

2014-09-01 00:00

AS the fight against business robberies intensifies, criminals are shifting their focus to suburban homes.

The province’s police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, told a community policing seminar in Durban on Friday they can see this move in the brazen attacks on homes in recent times.

Ngobeni also said thatrobberies at businesses have shown a particular trend in Pinetown, Durban Central, Umbilo and Pieter­maritzburg, as they normally get hit on Thursdays, Friday evenings and Saturdays.

Pinetown was again highlighted as one of the areas “prone to aggravated robberies and housebreaking”, Ngobeni said, adding that although the province’s aggravated robberies had decreased, there are concerns that the figure might rise again.

“We have had 25 000 incidents reported in the past five years. At some point we were at 18 000, but gradually there is indication that this kind of criminality is going up, and we need to start engaging as a community to say how we are going to deal with this issue,” Ngobeni said.

Ngobeni said their analysis of the aggravating robberies showed that the victims were mostly business and home owners, and that those committing the crimes were suspects aged between 16 and 24 years.

She said most of the robberies took place at spaza shops.

“The majority of them keep most of the cash with them. It actually exposes them to be victims of this crime.”

She encouraged the community to improve security at their homes as television sets, cellphones and laptops were targeted by criminals.

According to the police, the theft of these items appears to be linked to substance and drug abuse.

The theft of vehicles has registered a downward trend, while the theft out of vehicles was on the increase, she said.

Turning to stock theft, Ngobeni said that although it was a problem, it was showing a downward trend. However, areas of concern were Ladysmith, Utrecht and Bergville.

Ngobeni said murder was showing an increase compared to the stability of earlier years, with Inanda, Umlazi, KwaMashu and Mpumalanga recording the highest number of murder cases.

• mayibongwe.maqhina

@witness.co.za

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